Winnie the Pooh, Jim Cummings

<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Stephen J. Anderson. Starring Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson, Tom Kenny.

I was never a big fan of the overly cutesy pooh bear with a lust for honey. I do remember AA Milne’s story books and how well they were illustrated and how ‘proper’ the words used to be. But this retelling of an old tale (three actually), in an old animation format with a lot of old English was too dull for me. Maybe we’ve been spoilt by Pixar and Dreamworks. But I think Disney needed to infuse a bit more joy into this classic that just looks old now.

Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo are having another hair-brained adventure. They’re quest begins with a search for Eeyore’s pin-on tail and then escalates to a search for their human friend Christopher Robin. But along the way they have to face the monstrous Backson! Oh my! And of course the grand prize is winning a jar of ‘huny’. Yes, the misspellings are intentional and part of Pooh legacy.

Five-year-olds may like this if they’ve never seen a Playstation or Xbox 360 in their lives. For adults who are fans, this may be a dose of nostalgia but I’m guessing they’ve probably grown out of this kind of thing. The cell animation is too old, flat and boring. Sure there are some who will find it charming, especially the clever trick with using the story book as a playground for our characters and the text becoming their play things. The lyrics to the rhyming songs in this musical cartoon are a bit old school. Most kids aren’t going to get it.

I’d say the best thing about Winnie the Pooh (apart from John Cleese narrating) is the animated short they have as a prelude to the main film. It’s called The Ballad of Nessie, and tells the tale of how Lake Ness got its Lock Ness Monster. Eloquently narrated by Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly, the tale is simple, the story magical and the emotion heartfelt.

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